Testimonials

Tony Pasqualini,
Founding Member of Freehold and Actor
"[A]t our performances for the Purdy women’s prison and the Monroe men’s prison, the audience was unlike any I’ve ever played for, or, more accurately, they were the rawest audience I’ve ever played for. Untainted by past theatrical experiences, they listened, experienced the play, and reacted in an honest and completely unfiltered way. Out on those fields, on those hot summer days, the intensity of connection between actor and audience was so much greater than it ever could be at one of our ‘renowned’ playhouses. What will be the long term effect of all this? That’s hard to say, but seminal moments are hard to shake. And there’s no denying that five hundred or so, mostly forgotten, deeply scarred men and women, along with twenty performers, all experienced a true and profound human connection. This is a valuable program. This program does change lives."

George McGrath Callan, Ph.D
" ... As a woman who has worked as a practitioner of the healing arts for thirty years, I can say unequivocally, this is good medicine – for everyone involved ... I sat in the audience with the inmates, and was moved by their responses. The stories enacted before them were their own, presented in the voice of the Hero. As an archetypal psychologist, I must say that this is as clearly an alchemical process as anything I have seen in my consulting room. The word transformation has been bandied about until it has very little meaning. It found its true tenor in the gym at Purdy last night. What hit the stage was a talented and vibrant troupe ... bringing into the light, the gold of the stories once hidden in the darkness of repression, repudiation, and shame. I have never seen anything like it."

Inmate at WCCW
"Today you guys have helped me step into a world so unknown to me – my life ... Thank you. [...] when you're able to connect with me – my energy – whether it be my pain or my laughter you guys are there with me and I gain more confidence in myself – and now I must tell you that all of you have a permanent 'part' in my life."

Inmate at Monroe
"...I was deeply moved and that startled me.  How can free people who, I imagine, live in such a comfortable world move me?" and that they experienced it as - "more than a performance ...an interaction between the cast and the audence and the audience and the cast ...that exists on a different level than can be achieved from conversation or conveyed in a letter - or through any other medium I can think of."

Inmate at WCCW
"I learned that I can work with and appreciate even people that I do not like!"

Anna Maria Gutierrez, New Futures
"Having an outdoor play brought a sense of community and connectedness to a community which has been rife with isolation and alienation from one's neighbors. Also, your workshop for the children was brilliant. [...] the children were terribly shy at first, but in no time, they began to open up and participate because of the safe, approachable, and fun learning environment you created."

Peggy Weiss, Art Program Coordinator, Harborview Medical Center
"The power of ideas and relevant themes, conveyed through poetry and live theater, helps to ease the physical and emotional burden of a lengthy and painful recovery."

Pam Smith, Manager Rehabilitation, Harborview Medical Center
"The power of the experience was very interesting. For the patients it was therapeutic and for the staff, very insightful."